More Pacific Northwest ski and snowboard resorts are opening for winter operations, including the White Pass Ski Area.
“Our crews have been working hard getting the hillsides prepared, and we’re loving the man-made snow making operations that provides a much needed additional coverage,” said Kathleen Goyette, the White Pass marketing director.
White Pass plans to be open 8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and close Monday to Wednesday, reopening at Dec. 12. The base area has 10 to 26 inches along with 40 inches on the summit.
White Pass will operate the Great White, Chair 4 and Basin Quad lifts. The terrain open are: This Way, Tree Hugger, By the Way, Rib Eye, Huff ‘n Puff, Basin Boulevard, Boardwalk, Holiday, Jaw Breaker, Cascade (thin snow coverage), and Poma Face.
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Crystal Mountain Resort is open daily from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and the recent snowfall has allowed the area to expand terrain to include the Chinook Express providing access to the Forest Queen and High Campbell lifts.
The Crystal Gondola, Rainier Express and Green Valley lifts will also be operating. Grooming is limited on Downhill and Queen’s Run off the Forest Queen lift, but the rest of the mountain has packed powder conditions.
The Southback area — servicing expert runs — opened Thursday for the first time this season, but the traverse to Southback from the top of High Campbell is rocky in places. Once you make the traverse there’s plenty of nice powdery conditions in the A and Silver Basin areas.
The coverage below mid-mountain at Crystal is still thin with exposed brush and rocks, so skiers and boarders should use caution when arriving in the base area. There is 8 inches at the Crystal base, and 42 inches on the summit. The Northway area remains closed as additional snow coverage is needed.
The Mount Baker Ski Area is open daily from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with midweek operations out of the White Salmon Base Area with packed, powder conditions. Heather Meadows has a base of 40 inches, and there is a 55-inch base on top of Pan Dome.
Stevens Pass Resort is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with the Hogsback, Skyline, Kehr’s Chair, Tye Mill, Seventh Heaven and Daisy lifts shuttling passengers. The Top Plight Terrain Park will have some features open. Stevens has a base of 30 inches and 45 inches on the summit.
Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort plans to reopen Friday through Sunday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., then close Monday to Wednesday. They have a mid-mountain coverage of 15 inches and 29 inches on the summit.
East of the Cascades, 49 Degrees North Mountain Resort reopens Friday through Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The Mount Spokane Ski Area reopens Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Another weather system is expected to arrive Monday, bringing additional snowfall to the lower elevations of the Cascade region. In the meantime, a weak system is predicted to cross over the state Thursday night, bringing light to moderate snowfall accumulations through Friday. Cold temperatures are expected to linger for several days.
In Montana, Whitefish Mountain Resort will open Saturday for winter operations with good snow coverage from their base to the summit. They have 21 inches on the base and 53 inches on top.
In Oregon, Timberline Lodge Resort, Mount Bachelor Ski Resort and Mount Hood Meadows Resort are open daily.
In Idaho, Sun Valley Resort plans to reopen Saturday, with additional lifts and terrain on Baldy Mountain. On the Warm Springs mountainside, the Roundhouse Gondola and the Challenger lift will shuttle passengers to Flying Squirrel, Lower Picabo and Lower Warm Springs runs. Dollar Mountain is expected to reopen Dec. 14.
Schweitzer Mountain Resort and Silver Mountain Resort plan to reopen Friday through Sunday. Lost Trail Mountain Resort on the Idaho-Montana border opened Thursday with a 53-inch base.
In British Columbia, the Whistler-Blackcomb Resort, Silver Star, Sun Peaks, Big White, Cypress and Fernie Alpine resorts are all open for daily winter operation.
• Santa and Mrs. Claus will visit the Mount Baker Ski Area on Saturday. Get your photos taken with a voluntary donation to the Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center.
• In Idaho, the K
ellogg Christmas Festival is 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. this Saturday, and features a craft show, free museum and movie day, pictures with Santa, caroling and shopping. The lighted parade will begin at 5 p.m. and ends in the Gondola Village at Silver Mountain with a fireworks display. Details: http://visitnorthidaho.com/event/kellogg-christmas-celebration/
• Schweitzer Mountain Resor
t is celebrating its 50th anniversary Dec. 13-15 with a special celebration and discounts on lift tickets and lodging. Details: www.schweitzer.com
• The Mount Hood Meadows Resort Brewfest is noon to 5 p.m. this Saturday at the Vertical Restaurant. Cost is $12. Details: www.skihood.com
• Some travel specials are available to Whitefish Resort in Montana. Alaska Airlines has a one-way flight deals starting at $89 from Sea-Tac to Kalispell. Details: www.alaskaair.com. Amtrak offers 20 percent discounts when you book by Feb. 28. Details: www.amtrak.com. The Whitefish Eat, Ski, Sleep, Repeat package at the Hibernation House includes lift tickets, lodging and a breakfast for $84. Details: www.skiwhitefish.com
• Santa Claus is planning to visit the Sun Peaks Resort in British Columbia from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec. 14. Come and get a picture taken with Santa, and enjoy fresh maple taffy pops, musical performances, vendors, story telling elves, Rail Jam ski and snowboard competition, gingerbread decoration station, and the lighted trees in the village. Details: http://www.sunpeaksresort.com
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